Scientists Make Breakthrough That Could Stop Animal Testing

Researchers have made a major breakthrough in their mission to use a chip in lieu of testing on animals.

It would end the needless testing of cosmetic chemicals on female mice; a test known as a local lymph node assay. In fact, just one use could save the lives of 25 animals. But the motivating factor behind this–unfortunately–is not really ethics.

“One important benefit in moving away from animal testing is the cost savings,” says Robert Freedman, Hurel’s chief executive officer.

Testing on small animals can run as high as $1,000 an animal. These chips would be far less expensive. Plus, there’d be fewer dead animals. I’m a fan of that.

Political pressure is also key. Europe plans to fully ban the sale of any cosmetics that were tested on animals come 2013.

It’s hard to tell exactly how many animals are used in skin allergy tests as rodents are not covered under the U.S. Animal Welfare Act. But it’s estimated 10,000 animals are killed every year for such tests. 

When animals are tested for an allergy, dendritic cells from the skin migrate to the lymph node. This creates an allergic reaction resulting in T cells. Those conducting the test then look for an outward allergic reaction, such as irritation.

So far, the researchers have developed the working microfluid part of the chip. But cells will need to be cultured to create an artificial lymph node. The lymph node will then be connected to artificial skin via the newly developed microfluid. Researchers would then be able to monitor the resulting T cells.

The researchers hope to have a fully functional prototype by 2011, far before the 2013 deadline.

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Source: Technology Review / CC BY 2.0


Danuta W.
Danuta W6 years ago

Interesting Thanks

Christina Minar
Christina M7 years ago

Ethics before Economics.

deadra u.
deadra u7 years ago

Wonderful news. TOO BAD much of it was prompted by economics.

Matt Gettleman
Past Member 7 years ago

Now if we can just get pharmaceutical companies on board...

Glynis M.
Glynis Martin7 years ago

The fact that this is cheaper is a major plus. Everyone wants to save money so even if these companies don't care about the moral issue they will use it anyway.I'm looking forward to the day when all lab animals are safe. In the meantime, I will continue boycotting Procter and Gamble, Gillette and all of the other companies that are doing animal tests.

Beba H.
beba h7 years ago

They need to quickly phase out animal testing--this horror has to stop !! I hope they move quickly on this one !

Courtney V.
Courtney V7 years ago

This is wonderful news, I am glad they will be putting an end to animal testing even though I personally believe they should had stopped well long ago. But, it's still good they are stepping up to the plate, a relief to the other animals that won't be part of their future testing.

Stuart O.
Stuart O7 years ago

The Gallifreyan Broadcasting Corporation would like to apologise for the following announcement!

This is a communication from Dalek command!
We have analized the atmosphere and biosphere of your planet and it is clear that you are on a path of self annihilation.
The Dalek fleet has been mobilized and will enter your solar system in approximately one hundred earth years.
If you have not fixed your planet by then, the human race will be exterminated and earth will become part of the Dalek empire.
Your first effort is to sign the following petitions!
You will obey, or you will be exterminated!

For convenience: highlight the petition you wish to sign by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the cursor over it.
Once highlighted, right click on it and click copy on the menu. Then go to the web address bar and right click.
Select paste from the drop down menu and the web address should appear.
This will save your puny human fingers from undue fatigue.

PS: The allotment related petition is only available withi

Karen Marion
Karen Marion7 years ago

this is good news

Yulan L.
Yulan Lawson7 years ago